"I don't want to have diabetes. It's a horrendous disease," she says.
Because she's overweight and has elevated blood sugar, Maureen has what doctors are now officially calling pre-diabetes. It's a brand-new term coined to categorize an estimated 25 to 40 million Americans at high risk of having diabetes, reports CBS News Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Kaledin.
"By using a simple word that everyone understands – pre-diabetes – we can draw attention to this problem of high risk in the population, try to identify the people who are at greatest risk and try to get them on a course so the risk will decrease," says Dr. C. Ronald Kahn, president of the Joslin Diabetes Institute.
The signs of pre-diabetes are not hard to diagnose. They include:
"If you have those risk factors, or if you even have one of those risk factors, you may very well be pre-diabetic," says Dr. Christopher Saudek, president of the American Diabetes Association.
Should You Be Tested For Pre-Diabetes?
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Studies show the majority of people with pre-diabetes will develop full-blown diabetes within ten years. The whole reason for coining the new term is an attempt to slow what's become a diabetes epidemic. It's a wake-up call of sorts because diabetes can be prevented:
"Diabetes is among the diseases where individuals have a lot of control over their fate," says Dr. Kahn.
Doctors say it doesn't take much: moderate activity, like walking, and a loss of 7 percent of your body weight is enough to stave off what can be a deadly disease.
Maureen Marinelli is trying. She's lost 25 pounds, stays active and feels better:
"The more I lost weight, the more energy I gained," she says.
She may be gaining something else – a diabetes-free future.